[access-uk] advice required regarding up-to-date information on hotpoint washing machine instruction manuals in alternative formats

  • From: "Alexander Shannon" <alexacts2v4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 14:09:02 +0100

Hi all,

Please excuse the long subject line, however, I wonder if someone could advise me on the following

A month or so back my wife and I purchased a washing machine from a local company who are a Hotpoint sales centre.

When we purchased the machine, I told the company that although I could see to use the machine, we would need Braille instructions so that my wife could use it, although we did not actually need a Braille control panel fitted on the front of the machine.

I received a call from Hotpoint this Morning saying that an Engineer had been booked to fit a Braille front panel on our washing machine a week today, Would we be in. I told the caller that we had not initially ordered such a panel, but we would accept it if they had already arranged it, however, we had ordered Braille instructions which the company we had purchased the washing machine from had informed us were available.

The reply from Hotpoint was to the effect that all their instructions for the visually impaired were now in audio format.

As We would prefer a Braille copy of the instructions, I do intend to contact the RNIB transcription service in Tarporley and see if they can transcribe the instructions into Braille, however, I believe that even they have gone over to Audio for certain transcriptions these days, but I will see what they say.

I can see the argument of some companies, their thinking is that not everyone who is visually impaired reads Braille so it would cost them less to produce more of their manuals in either audio CD format for normal CD players, or a CD format that can be played on a computer. However, If one wants to read a manual while operating a washing machine, and the manual is only available in an audio format, then a portable CD player and headphones would have to be used.

What are your thoughts?

Alexander Shannon
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